‘I am Still Able to Contribute to Someone Less Fortunate’: A Phenomenological Analysis of Young Adults’ Process of Personal Healing from Major Depression

  • Siaw Leng ChanEmail author
  • Poh Li Lau
  • Y. Joel Wong


Understanding depression can be important in increasing young adults’ willingness to seek professional mental healthcare. This study examined young adults’ experiences of recovery from depression from a subjective stance. Using transcendental phenomenological design, the authors studied the experiences of nine Malaysian young adults who reported experiences of recovery from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Data collected through audio-recorded, in-depth, semi-structured interviews, were analysed using Colaizzi’s (1978) descriptive phenomenological approach. Six interconnected emerging themes addressing personal healing contributors were revealed: supportive relationships; medication; attending counselling; religion and spirituality; care for others; and employment. Each major theme was supported by three subthemes. A combination of factors generated greater personal healing experiences. This study highlighted how practitioners could help young adults in their recovery from depression.


Personal healing contributors Recovery Depression Young adults Phenomenological analysis Malaysia 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors hereby declared that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Psychology and CounsellingUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Counselling and Educational PsychologyIndiana University BloomingtonIndianaUSA

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